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My Research Into Psychology Grad Programs

Psychology always seemed appealing, naturally I’m investigating it as a potential candidate for my grad school. Why am I writing about psychology here? I often aim for sharing my findings with others, that’s why this blog exists, perhaps I could save you some time by offering some info you were looking for.

The collective of the information and lists below are ones I found interesting; not comprehensive or an accurate representation of all that’s out there.

In this article, I first discuss the areas I find interesting, then I go into the salaries for psychologists, then I examine local grad school programs and compare them in a table.. It seems as the MA and PSYD programs at St Thomas are the best fit.. I am waiting for more info on that program from them.

Please make sure you check the comment section as I will be adding more info as it comes there.

I find these areas interesting

Psychology – Counseling

Is a psychological specialty, usually one-on-one engagement between a trained counselor, and a client. In terms of its formal instantiation, its remit may involve facilitating personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational concerns. Through the integration of theory, research, and practice, and with a sensitivity to multicultural issues, this specialty encompasses a broad range of practices that help people improve their well-being, alleviate distress and maladjustment, resolve crises, and increase their ability to live more highly functioning lives.

A key distinction to draw is between counseling psychology, and the modern versions of psycho-dynamic counseling. Though closely related to “clinical psychology”, counseling psychology differs from that field in a several subtle ways.

First, counseling psychologists typically focus on less severe psychopathology (e.g., depression and anxiety), while clinical psychologists deal with more seriously disturbed individuals (e.g., those with schizophrenia or personality disorders).

Psychology – Clinical

The scientific study and application of psychology for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. Central to its practice are psychological assessment and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. In many countries it is a regulated mental health profession.

Since that time, two main educational models exist, the Ph.D. (focusing on research) and the Psy.D. (focusing on practice). Clinical psychologists are now considered experts in providing psychotherapy, and generally train within four primary theoretical orientations—Psychodynamic, Humanistic, Cognitive Behavioral, and Systems or Family therapy.

Clinical psychology may be confused with psychiatry, which generally has similar goals (e.g. the alleviation of mental distress), but is unique in that psychiatrists are physicians with medical degrees. As such, they tend to focus on medication-based solutions, although some also provide psychotherapeutic services as well. In practice, clinical psychologists often work in multidisciplinary teams with other professionals such as psychiatrists, occupational therapists, and social workers to bring a multimodal approach to complex patient problems.

Psychology – Health

Is concerned with understanding how biology, behavior, and social context influence health and illness. Health psychologists work alongside other medical professionals in clinical settings, work on behaviour change in public health promotion, teach at universities, and conduct research. Although its early beginnings can be traced to the kindred field of clinical psychology, four different divisions within health psychology and one allied field have developed over time: clinical health psychology, occupational health psychology (an allied field), public health psychology, community health psychology, and critical health psychology.

Recent advances in psychological, medical, and physiological research have led to a new way of thinking about health and illness. This conceptualization, which has been labeled the biopsychosocial model, views health and illness as the product of a combination of factors including biological characteristics (e.g., genetic predisposition), behavioral factors (e.g., lifestyle, stress, health beliefs), and social conditions (e.g., cultural influences, family relationships, social support).

Psychologists who strive to understand how biological, behavioral, and social factors influence health and illness are called health psychologists. The term “health psychology” is often used synonymously with the terms “behavioral medicine” and “medical psychology”. Health psychologists work with many different health care professionals (e.g., physicians, dentists, nurses, physician’s assistants, dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, and chaplains) to conduct research and provide clinical assessments and treatment services. Many health psychologists focus on prevention research and interventions designed to promote health and reduce the risk of disease. While more than half of health psychologists provide clinical services as part of their duties, many health psychologists function in non-clinical roles, primarily involving teaching and research.

1- Clinical health psychology (ClHP) – a division of health psychology that reflects the fact that the field was originally a branch of clinical psychology. a major contributor to the field of behavioral medicine within psychiatry. Clinical practice includes education, the techniques of behavior change, and psychotherapy. In some countries, a clinical health psychologist, with additional training, can become a medical psychologist and, thereby, obtain prescription privileges.

2- Occupational health psychology (OHP) – a relatively new discipline allied with health psychology. The ancestry of OHP includes health psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and occupational health.[2] OHP has own doctoral programs, journals, and professional organizations. The field is concerned with identifying psychosocial characteristics of workplaces that give rise to health-related problems in people who work. These problems can involve physical health (e.g., cardiovascular disease) or mental health (e.g., depression).

3- Public health psychology (PHP) is population oriented. A major aim of PHP is to investigate potential causal links between psychosocial factors and health at the population level. PH psychologists present research results to educators, policy makers, and health care providers in order to promote better public health. PHP is allied to other public health disciplines including epidemiology, nutrition, genetics and biostatistics. Some PHP interventions are targeted toward at-risk population groups (e.g., undereducated, single pregnant women who smoke) and not the population as a whole (e.g., all pregnant women).

4- Community health psychology (CoHP) investigates community factors that contribute to the health and well-being of individuals who live in communities. CoHP also develops community-level interventions that are designed to combat disease and promote physical and mental health. The community often serves as the level of analysis, and is frequently sought as a partner in health-related interventions.

5- Critical health psychology (CrHP) is concerned with the distribution of power and the impact of power differentials on health experience and behavior, health care systems, and health policy. CrHP prioritizes social justice and the universal right to health for people of all races, genders, ages, and socioeconomic positions. A major concern is health inequalities. The CrH psychologist is an agent of change, not simply an analyst or cataloger. A leading organization in this area is the International Society of Critical Health Psychology.

Psychology – Industrial/organizational

Industrial and Organizational Psychology (also known as I/O psychology, work psychology, work and organizational psychology, occupational psychology, personnel psychology or talent assessment) is a branch of psychology devoted to organizations and the workplace. “Industrial-organizational psychologists contribute to an organizations success by improving the performance and well-being of its people. An I-O psychologist researches and identifies how behaviors and attitudes can be improved through hiring practices, training programs, and feedback systems.”

I/O psychology can be divided into two broad areas of study, as evident in its name. Organizational psychology is comprised of topics related to individuals within a context. Contexts studied within organizational psychology include organizations and jobs, leadership (e.g., how leaders influence workers), and interactions among group or team members. Topics such as worker motivation, emotion and affect, and job attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction) are also considered aspects of organizational psychology. The core of industrial psychology is job analysis – a systematic process for understanding individual knowledge, abilities, skills, and other personal characteristics necessary to perform jobs. Industrial psychology also includes topics such as personnel selection (how to best select applicants for jobs), performance appraisal (how to evaluate individual effectiveness in jobs),and training and development (how to train workers to competently perform jobs).

I/O psychologists are interested in making organizations more productive while ensuring physically and psychologically productive and healthy lives for workers. The majority of I/O psychologists have a Ph.D. in I/O psychology, but there are many job opportunities for individuals with degress from terminal master’s programs. I/O psychologists often work in an HR (human resources) department, though many other I/O psychologists work for large consultant firms, pursue careers as independent consultants or work in psychology departments and business schools. I/O psychologists in academic and applied settings may do both consulting and research. Sample research topics include: Determinants of leadership effectiveness, contributions of teamwork and taskwork skills to team performance, work and family conflict, determinants of training effectiveness, characteristics of effective performance feedback, predictors of job performance, antecedents and consequences of perceived justice in the workplace, relationships between job satisfaction and work performance.

Psychology – Quantitative

is the application of statistical and mathematical methods to the study of psychology. This area of study is loosely divided into the subfields of psychometrics and mathematical psychology. Psychometrics may be characterized as the application of statistical models to problems such as psychological scaling and test development, while mathematical psychology may be characterized as the development and testing of novel mathematical models that describe psychological processes.

Quantitative psychology is served by several scientific organizations. These include the Psychometric Society, Division 5 of the American Psychological Association (Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics), the Society for Multivariate Behavioral Research, and the European Society for Methodology. In addition, several affiliated disciplines such as statistics, educational measurement and statistics, sociological methodology and political methodology embrace scholarship that is developed or utilized in quantitative psychology. Several scholarly journals reflect the efforts of scientists in these areas, notably Psychometrika and Psychological Methods.

Psychology – Social

The study of how people and groups interact. Scholars in this interdisciplinary area are typically either psychologists or sociologists, though all social psychologists employ both the individual and the group as their units of analysis.

Despite their similarity, psychological and sociological researchers tend to differ in their goals, approaches, methods, and terminology. They also favor separate academic journals and professional societies. The greatest period of collaboration between sociologists and psychologists was during the years immediately following World War II. Although there has been increasing isolation and specialization in recent years, some degree of overlap and influence remains between the two disciplines.

Psychology – Cognitive

A branch of psychology that investigates internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. The school of thought arising from this approach is known as cognitivism which is interested in how people mentally represent information processing. Cognitive psychologists use psychophysical and experimental approaches to understand, diagnose, and solve problems, concerning themselves with the mental processes which mediate between stimulus and response. Cognitive theory contends that solutions to problems take the form of algorithms—rules that are not necessarily understood but promise a solution, or heuristics—rules that are understood but that do not always guarantee solutions. Cognitive science differs from cognitive psychology in that algorithms that are intended to simulate human behavior are implemented or implementable on a computer. In other instances, solutions may be found through insight, a sudden awareness of relationships.

Psychology – Engineering (Human factors)

Engineering psychology is an interdisciplinary part of Ergonomics and studies the relationships of people to machines, with the intent of improving such relationships. This may involve redesigning equipment, changing the way people use machines, or changing the location in which the work takes place. Often, the work of an engineering psychologist is described as making the relationship more “user-friendly.”

Engineering Psychology is an applied field of psychology concerned with psychological factors in the design and use of equipment. Human factors is broader than engineering psychology, which is focused specifically on designing systems that accommodate the information-processing capabilities of the brain.

Psychology – Biological (biopsychology, psychobiology, or behavioral neuroscience)

biological psychology is the application of the principles of biology to the study of mental processes and behavior. A psychobiologist, for instance, may compare the unfamiliar imprinting behavior in goslings to the early attachment behavior in human infants and construct theory around these two phenomena. Biological psychologists may often be interested in measuring some biological variable, e.g. an anatomical, physiological, or genetic variable, in an attempt to relate it quantitatively or qualitatively to a psychological or behavioral variable, and thus contribute to evidence based

In many cases, humans may serve as experimental subjects in biological psychology experiments; however, a great deal of the experimental literature in biological psychology comes from the study of non-human species, most frequently rats, mice, and monkeys. As a result, a critical assumption in biological psychology is that organisms share biological and behavioral similarities, enough to permit extrapolations across species. This allies biological psychology closely with comparative psychology, evolutionary psychology, and evolutionary biology. Biological psychology also has paradigmatic and methodological similarities to neuropsychology, which relies heavily on the study of the behavior of humans with nervous system dysfunction (i.e., a non-experimentally based biological manipulation).

Clinical neuropsychology

Clinical neuropsychology is a sub-specialty of clinical psychology that specialises in the diagnostic assessment and treatment of patients with brain injury or neurocognitive deficits.

Typically, a clinical neuropsychologist will hold an advanced degree in clinical psychology (in most countries, this requires a doctorate level qualification: Ph.D., Psy.D., or M.D.) and will have completed further studies in neuropsychology, or in some countries, neurology.

In the USA, a neuropsychologist is a clinical psychologist, who, in addition to completing a Doctoral Degree in Psychology, also completes a Clinical Internship (1 year) and specialized Post-Doctoral training in Clinical Neuropsychology. Such Post-Doctoral training (i.e. Fellowship/Residency) currently ranges from 2 to 4 years.

Psychotherapy – psychotherapist - list of :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_psychotherapies

Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. This usually includes increasing individual sense of well-being and reducing subjective discomforting experience. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change and that are designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family). Psychotherapy may be performed by practitioners with a number of different qualifications, including psychologists, marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, counselors, psychiatric nurses, music therapists, and psychiatrists.

Most forms of psychotherapy use spoken conversation. Some also use various other forms of communication such as the written word, artwork, drama, narrative story, music, or therapeutic touch. Psychotherapy occurs within a structured encounter between a trained therapist and client(s). Purposeful, theoretically based psychotherapy began in the 19th century with psychoanalysis; since then, scores of other approaches have been developed and continue to be created.


Psychoanalysis - the first practice to be called a psychotherapy. It encourages the verbalization of all the patient’s thoughts, including free associations, fantasies, and dreams, from which the analyst formulates the nature of the unconscious conflicts which are causing the patient’s symptoms and character problems.

Cognitive Behavioral - generally seeks to by different methodologies identify and transcend maladaptive cognitions, appraisal, beliefs and reactions with the aim of influencing destructive negative emotions and problematic dysfunctional behaviors.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

An umbrella-term for psychotherapeutic systems that deal with cognitions, interpretations, beliefs and responses, with the aim of influencing problematic emotions and behaviors. CBT can be seen as a general term for many different therapies that share some common elements and theoretical underpinnings[1].

CBT is widely accepted as an evidence- and empiricism-based, cost-effective psychotherapy for many disorders and psychological problems. It is often used with groups of people as well as individuals, and the techniques are also commonly adapted for self-help manuals and, increasingly, for self-help software packages. One of the objectives of CBT typically is to identify and monitor thoughts, assumptions, beliefs and behaviors that are related and accompanied to debilitating negative emotions and to identify those which are dysfunctional, inaccurate, or simply unhelpful. This is done in an effort to replace or transcend them with more realistic and useful ones. CBT was primarily developed out of Behavior Modification, Cognitive Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and has become widely used to treat various kinds of psychopathology, including mood disorders and anxiety disorders and has many clinical and non-clinical applications.

Psychodynamic – is a form of depth psychology, the primary focus of which is to reveal the unconscious content of a client’s psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension. Although it has its roots in psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy tends to be briefer and less intensive than traditional psychoanalysis.

Existential – is based on the existential belief that human beings are alone in the world. This aloneness leads to feelings of meaninglessness which can be overcome only by creating one’s own values and meanings.

Existential psychotherapy is partly based on the existential belief that human beings are alone in the world.[citation needed] This aloneness leads to feelings of meaninglessness which can be overcome only by creating one’s own values and meanings. In making our own choices we assume full responsibility for the results and blame no one but ourselves if the result is less than what was desired. The psychotherapist helps his or her patients/clients along this path: to discover why the patient/client is overburdened by the anxieties of aloneness and meaninglessness, to find new and better ways to manage these anxieties, to make new and healthy choices, and to emerge from therapy as a free and sound human being.

Humanistic – emerged in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis and is therefore known as the Third Force in the development of psychology. It is explicitly concerned with the human context of the development of the individual with an emphasis on subjective meaning, a rejection of determinism, and a concern for positive growth rather than pathology. It posits an inherent human capacity to maximise potential, ‘the self-actualing tendency’. The task of Humanistic therapy is to create a relational environment where this tendency might flourish.

Brief therapy – is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches to psychotherapy. It differs from other schools of therapy in that it emphasizes (1) a focus on a specific problem and (2) direct intervention. It is solution-based rather than problem-oriented. It is less concerned with how a problem arose than with the current factors sustaining it and preventing change.

Systemic Therapy – seeks to address people not at an individual level, as is often the focus of other forms of therapy, but as people in relationship, dealing with the interactions of groups, their patterns and dynamics (includes family therapy & marriage counseling).

Transpersonal Therapy – Addresses the client in the context of a spiritual understanding of consciousness.

Transpersonal psychology is a school of psychology that studies the transpersonal, self-transcendent or spiritual aspects of the human experience. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology describes transpersonal psychology as “the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness” (Lajoie and Shapiro, 1992:91). Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, peak experiences, mystical experiences, systemic trance and other metaphysical experiences of living.

Transpersonal psychologists see the school as a companion to other schools of psychology that include psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and humanistic psychology. Transpersonal psychology attempts to unify modern psychology theory with frameworks from different forms of mysticism

Salary Research:



salary.com (psychology)

salary.com (psychologist)

simply hired



Grad programs (local / MN)

A table comparing local psychology grad programs, the cost, and perhaps more importantly whether they are designed for working adults (part time). I find these programs interesting:

Program taught at Degree PT study / Distant cost credits Pre-recs can it be transferred for PhD at another university? URL Notes 1 Notes2 Notes3
Psychology U PhD ?? $870/cr hr MA 30+ PhD ? Prerequisites for Admission—Prospective students generally have completed 12 credits (three to four courses) of psychology work beyond introductory psychology, including one course in statistics or psychological measurement. For the clinical science program, a course in abnormal psychology is required. An undergraduate major in psychology is desirable, but not necessary. n/a http://www.catalogs.umn.edu/grad/programs/g142.html Students are admitted only for the Ph.D. degree. Doctoral program specialties are offered in biological psychopathology, clinical science and psychopathology research, cognitive and biological psychology, counseling psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, personality, individual differences, and behavior genetics, quantitative/psychometric methods, school psychology, and social psychology. Applications are accepted for fall admission only; the deadline is December 1. A department application, a statement of career interests, goals, and objectives, three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s scholarship and research potential, photocopy of transcripts, and scores from the General Test of the GRE should accompany applications. The GRE Subject Test in psychology is recommended. Although there are no specific required minimums for GPAs and GRE scores, the range of scores for those admitted in previous years, as well as other specific requirements, are available from the psychology Web site.
Psychology – clinical MSU MS full time
Psychology – clinical psy.D st.thomas PhD ??? $777/cr hr 75 + 4yrs+ MA in counseling ??? http://www.stthomas.edu/gradpsych/programs/psyd/default.html
psychology – community Metro MA ?? $260/ cr hr 36+ # psychology major or major in a related field; and
# have completed prerequisite courses (general psychology, social or community psychology, statistics, and research methods) with a C or better.
??? http://www.metrostate.edu/cps/psych/grad/ new students accepted for the fall semester only. To be considered for admission to the M.A. Psychology program, you must:

* hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited college or university at the time you start the program;
* with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; and a
* psychology major or major in a related field; and
* have completed prerequisite courses (general psychology, social or community psychology, statistics, and research methods) with a C or better.

Psychology – Counseling st.thomas MS part evening $582/hr 48 hrs any degree, GRE http://www.stthomas.edu/gradpsych/admissions/ma/default.html Beth Williams, Masters Prof Psychology

Office: TMH 451


Phone:651 962 4650

Psychology – Industrial/Organizational MSU MS full time

Metropolitan University


U of M tuition http://onestop.umn.edu/finances/costs_and_tuition/tuition_and_fees/graduate_school_tuition.html

other links:





St Thomas


Note: A lot of the text in this article was copied or sourced from wikipedia. I do not claim ownership or authorship of most what’s in this article.

Categories: About Me / Blog, Psychology Tags:
  1. November 10th, 2008 at 12:29 | #1

    I asked the U of M (the U) if their psychology programs could work for a working adult/be part time.. got the response today:

    Hello Ethan,

    Unfortunately, the nine graduate programs in psychology from our department are all full-time Ph.D. programs. Students are working many hours in the research labs, practicums and classes to accomplish this.
    I hope this is helpful.

    B**** M****, MLS
    Psychology Advisor

  2. November 11th, 2008 at 13:15 | #2

    I came across another graduate school for psychology after posting this article. It’s a non profit graduate school that specializes in psychology, it follows Adler’s psychology and emphasizes on clinical practice vs. theoretical. It’s good work working adults, and accredited. They seem to offer lots of internship opportunities giving the students hands on experience, which is very valuable.

    It’s called the Adler Graduate School. Here’s the URL: http://www.alfredadler.edu/ I’m going to visit their campus soon and gather more info.

  3. November 12th, 2008 at 02:02 | #3
  4. November 22nd, 2008 at 11:56 | #5

    I continue to learn more on psychology. One confusing aspect was the types of Doctoral degrees, there are 2. The PhD (doctor of philosophy) in psychology and a PsyD (Doctor of Psychology). The first is concerned more with research the later with practice..

    I am quoting this very useful website (http://www.psichi.org/pubs/articles/article_171.asp) below:

    The Boulder Model (PhD)

    The first national training conference on clinical psychology was held during 1949 in Boulder, Colorado (hence, the Boulder model). At this conference, equal weight was accorded to the development of both research competencies and clinical skills. This dual emphasis resulted in the notion of the clinical psychologist as a scientist-practitioner.
    The Boulder conference was a milestone for several reasons. First, it established the PhD as the required degree, as in other academic fields. To this day, all Boulder-model programs in clinical psychology award the PhD degree. Second, the conference reinforced the idea that the appropriate location for training was within a university department, not a separate school or institute as in medicine and dentistry. And third, clinical psychologists were trained to be scientist -practitioners–prepared for work in both the academic world and the practice world.
    The important implication for students and advisors alike is to know that Boulder-model programs provide rigorous education as a researcher along with training as a clinician. Consider this dual thrust carefully before applying to Boulder-model programs. Some first-year graduate students undergo undue misery because they dislike research-oriented courses and the research projects that are part of the degree requirements. These, in turn, are preludes to the formal dissertation required by Boulder-model, PhD programs.

    The Vail Model (PsyD)

    Dissension with the recommendations of the Boulder conference culminated in a 1973 national training conference held in Vail, Colorado (hence, the Vail model). The Vail conferees endorsed different principles, leading to an alternative training model (Peterson, 1976, 1982). Psychological knowledge, it was argued, had matured enough to warrant creation of explicitly professional programs along the lines of professional programs in medicine, dentistry, and law. These professional programs were to be added to, not replace, Boulder-model programs. Further, it was proposed that different degrees should be used to designate the scientist role (PhD) from the practitioner role (PsyD–Doctor of Psychology). Graduates of Vail-model professional programs are scholar – professionals: the focus is primarily on clinical practice and less on research.
    This revolutionary conference led to the emergence of two distinct training models typically housed in different settings. Boulder-model programs are almost universally located in graduate departments of universities. However, Vail-model programs can be housed in three organizational settings: within a psychology department, within a university-affiliated psychology school, and within an independent, freestanding psychology school. The latter programs are not affiliated with universities; rather, they are independently developed and staffed.

    For more on the differences between the PhD and PsyD options look here: http://www.psichi.org/pubs/articles/article_171.asp

    One last comment, you can also obtain an MA in psychology before you obtain the PsyD. The MA in the state of Minnesota if accompanied with enough internship hours will qualify you to be eligible for the license exam and practice as a therapist.

  5. February 24th, 2009 at 10:24 | #6

    Another update:
    The U of M is ranked one of the top graduate schools for psychology PhD programs. APA approved, highly competitive and requires the students to have a psychology major + lots of research experience and then your chances of being accepted are about 1-2%. It also requires a full time commitment. Highly research-oriented.

    I find Adler Grad School very interesting.

    I recently also discovered that Argosy has a campus in the Twin cities and offers a PsyD program. Argosy is also APA approved. http://www.argosy.edu/locations/twin-cities/Default.aspx

  6. October 27th, 2009 at 13:16 | #7

    Also, don’t forget to consider Coaching, as in life coaching, stress relief coaching, hypnosis coaching.

  1. February 11th, 2009 at 09:01 | #1